Looking for family members of Jesse Joseph "Pepe" Pena. Working on a book that includes Jesse and other veterans from Assumption High School who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. His high school will be dedicting a Veterans Memorial in their honor during Memorial Day weekend. The following information is all that I have on Jesse.
Jesse Joseph Pena, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alvino Pena, was born in Moline on 9 January 1948.
He graduated from Assumption High School (Class of 1967). While at Assumption, he was a member of the wrestling team, earning a varsity letter his sophomore year. He latter attended Palmer Junior College and Black Hawk Junior College.
Jesse entered the United States Navy in June 1968. On 11 October 1969, he began his Vietnam tour of duty as a Hospital Corpsman with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division headquartered in Chu Lai, South Vietnam. On 12 February 1970, his platoon (the Second Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines) was on patrol in the Que Son Mountains of Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, when they were ambushed. Jesse died from his wounds during the battle.
Jesse was survived by his parents; five sisters, Frances, Anna, Linda, Blaza, and Debbie; and four brothers, Alvino Jr., Lyle, Michael, and Patrick.
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jesse Joseph “Pepe” Pena, United States Navy, is buried in the Rock Island National Cemetery.
Source of Information:
1. Quad Cities Times, 16 February 1970, page 1.
2. National Archives, U.S. Military Personnel Who Died (Including Missing and Captured Declared Dead) as a result of the Vietnam Conflict, 1957-1995 for the State of Iowa.
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